Education chiefs have praised the efforts of staff and pupils at New Park School as it continues to make steady progress towards moving out of special measures.

Ofsted inspectors returned to the Whitmore Reans school recently for the latest in a series of monitoring visits and reported further improvements which have taken place over the last few months.

New Park School caters for pupils from Wolverhampton and the wider area with severe emotional and behavioural needs, many of whom have had a particularly difficult start to their young lives. It was placed into special measures last year.

In their report published earlier this month, inspectors highlighted the role being played by new headteacher Fran Pass, who joined New Park at Easter, noting that she had identified where the school's strengths lie and where improvements quickly need to be made, and that "pupils and staff are responding well to her expectations".

The inspectors also noted the "good support" from Wolverhampton City Council, including the introduction of an Interim Executive Board which continues to challenge and support leaders and the development of strategic plans for those pupils whose attendance continues to be poor.

They recognised improved behaviour levels by pupils and said students in Years 10 and 11 were making steady progress towards GCSE and other examinations. Areas for further improvement were highlighted, with inspectors concluding: "The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures."

Keith Ireland, Managing Director of Wolverhampton City Council and Chair of the Interim Executive Board, said: "We welcome the findings of this latest monitoring inspection and I'd like to thank new headteacher Fran Pass and her team at New Park for their continuing hard work as we seek to further improve standards.

"New Park is a school which faces particular challenges, as it works with a high number of pupils who have severe emotional and behavioural needs. While there is clearly still much to do, I am confident that it will be able to move out of special measures in the near future."

Fran Pass said: "I am pleased to be working with colleagues who show such dedication, and pupils who inspire with their ingenuity and uniqueness and are very much the backbone to what I am sure will be a very positive future for New Park School."

Councillor Claire Darke, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Our young people deserve nothing less than a high quality education. The improvements we are successfully driving through at New Park by the introduction of an Interim Executive Board and strengthened leadership arrangements are being replicated at other local schools which require our support to improve standards."

  • released: Tuesday 16 June, 2015